NGLCC x Absolut Out & Open
Continuing its 40+ year of LGBTQ+ support and allyship, Absolut unveils ‘Out & Open’ to pay homage to LGBTQ+ bars and restaurants and the many ways these critical spaces serve the LGBTQ+ community. The ongoing initiative taps voices such as actor and comedian Bowen Yang to highlight the irreplaceable impact of LGBTQ+ bars and restaurants, and bring awareness to their plight as they face a steady decline in the industry by partnering with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) with a significant contribution towards succession planning education for these establishments and other LGBTQ+ owned businesses.
While LGBTQ+ bar closures have been exacerbated by the pandemic, a number of factors have driven this steady decline, including gentrification, technology and a lack of the succession planning that prevents these spaces from staying out and open for the next generation. However, despite being especially vulnerable to closures, these vibrant, joyful spaces are vital for the LGBTQ+ community. Whether providing a space for belonging, freedom and acceptance, serving as hubs for activism and fundraisers, or serving as a source for networking, resources and employment, these bars and restaurants exist at the center of the community and Absolut is committed to advocating for them to remain Out & Open.
An audio-visual series, led by photographer Bronson Farr, launches Out & Open on Absolut.com by bringing to life real stories from inside the walls of these vital spaces. In the series, members of the LGBTQ+ community share their personal stories that highlight the poignant role that LGBTQ+ bars have played, and continue to play, in their lives. These stories recall the joyful, emotional memories of what it was like to first enter a LGBTQ+ bar, pay homage to those that have closed, share how they have been spaces for social justice, and more.
To highlight the importance of protecting the future of LGBTQ+ bars and restaurants as well as other LGBTQ+-owned businesses, Absolut is partnering with the NGLCC to make the organization’s training programs around succession planning more accessible to more LGBTQ+ business owners. According to a 2021 survey from NGLCC Corporate Partner PWC, only 34% of small business owners have succession plans. The succession trainings, hosted by NGLCC subject matter experts, will take place in person in Atlanta, Denver, Houston, Minneapolis, New Orleans, and Palm Springs. Sessions will also take place at the 2022 NGLCC International Business and Leadership Conference in Las Vegas in August as well as during related programming as part of the NGLCC’s 2022 Gala Awards in Washington, DC in November. Two virtual sessions will take place between now and the end of the year.
LGBTQ+ business owners can register here to receive additional information and receive registration information as it becomes available to learn how they can protect the future of their business so they can continue to provide a safe, joyful space to their communities.
For every listen and/or share of these stories on Absolut.com/us/out-and-open, Absolut will make an additional donation to the NGLCC to expand its succession planning programming.